Writing a test case is an often overlooked part of software testing. However, well-written test cases are crucial to the successful development and launch of apps and web programs.
A good test case can provide software testers with crystal-clear guidelines to help them perform their jobs efficiently. On the other hand, a poorly written test case can cause more harm than good and damage the development process.
This guide to test cases will help you understand what a test case is, along with its formats and types. We will also provide an introduction on how to write test cases.
A test case is a series of operations carried out to validate a particular aspect or function of your software program. A test case includes steps, preconditions, and postconditions created for a specific test scenario to validate any requirement.
The test case contains particular variables and conditions that a testing engineer uses to compare expected and actual outcomes. This helps ascertain whether a software product is operating in accordance with client requirements.
A wide variety of test cases are used to validate and verify different facets of an application. There are many ways to categorize the different types of test cases in software testing. One way is to classify them as formal and informal.
With these test cases, the tester writes a test in which the inputs are all known and detailed, such as the preconditions and test data. Formal tests have predefined input, which means they provide an expected output, which the test attempts to validate.
A formal test is one where all inputs, such as test data and preconditions, are identified and documented. Since they have a predefined input, they give an expected output which the test attempts to validate.
These types of test cases do not have defined inputs or outputs. Testers use them to discover and record outcomes and real findings about the quality of the software.
Most of the test cases used are formal in nature. They are planned in advance and executed to meet specific requirements.
Some of the other common types of test cases include:
Test cases in software engineering can have a variety of objectives; however, the outcomes for formal test cases are usually predictable. This is because the test case format usually details the expected and actual outcome, which is validated by the test. Test results fall into the following categories:
While the exact format for a test case differs by requirements and organizations, most include the following details:
Here is a sample case using the test case template based above. Do note how all details are clearly stated to avoid any confusion.
What Are The Best Practices While Writing A Test Case?
Writing a good test case is an art. It must be simple enough for the tester to follow while being detailed enough to cover all key aspects. Here are some tips to keep in mind while writing your next test case:
Do not repeat test cases
Avoid the repetition of test cases. If a test case is needed for executing another test case, list it by its test case ID in the preconditions section.
Ensure test cases are easily identifiable
Name the test case using a standard naming convention to make sure it’s easily identifiable while tracking defects at a later stage.
The results should be consistent
The test case should produce the same results no matter how many times it’s executed or who the tester is.
Use peer reviews
Get your test case reviews by your colleagues to uncover issues you may have missed.
Make it simple
Test cases should be as simple and transparent as possible. You can use assertive language like “click on the sign in button” or “go to the home page” to make the steps easy to understand.
Keep the end user in mind
The ultimate goal of executing a test case is to create software that meets the customer’s requirements. This is why it’s essential to keep the end user’s needs in mind while drafting a test case.
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